Arthur Russell Vinyl, CD & tapes by Arthur Russell at Norman Records
Arthur Russell was sampled on Kanye West's song '30 Hours' from the 2016 album 'The Life Of Pablo'. This hopefully goes some way to illustrating Russell's lasting influence as a creator. Arthur Russell was a New York-based experimental pop artist dabbling in dub, disco, and classical music, who was every bit as contradictory as that collection of genres suggests.
He is usually associated with the sound of his cello which he put through processors like delay and reverb machines; it was at once tangible and otherworldly. Although he had a fearsome productivity he still only released one finished solo record, the sublime 1986 record 'World of Echo'. 'World of Echo' is a weird album. The arrangements consist of cello, strange sampled percussion, and Russell's bizarre vocalisations. The album is like a gutted dub record that's been put through a primitive bit-crusher and fed into a half-broken tape machine. It is, quite simply, astonishing.
'World of Echo' is not Russell's only notable work, his other albums 'Tower of Meaning' (originally meant for theatrical performance) and his work with Lola are must-listens. There is a whole catalogue of compilation albums made up of music that Russell never released such as 'The World Of Arthur Russell' and 'Calling Out of Context'. His music is skeletal, quietly magical, psychedelic, and possessing a huge depth of sound and meaning, a must-listen for fans of mind-bending music.
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